EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2338 - August 02, 2010     4 of 6

Bling Nation Uses PayPal for 'Tap and Pay' Mobile Payments

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If you visit PayPal's headquarters, it's best not to pull out your old-fashioned wallet in front of employees - the PayPal campus is going cashless with the help of third-party developer Bling Nation. All 2,000 PayPal employees at the company's headquarters will receive BlingTags on their mobile phones that are linked to their PayPal accounts, enabling them to fund purchases throughout the San Jose campus as well as at participating merchants in Palo Alto.

You might say PayPal is going full circle: when it launched, its killer app was thought to be a mobile app for the Palm Pilot that would allow users to "beam" money to their family, friends and colleagues. PayPal hired James Doohan, the actor who played Scotty in Star Trek and "beamed" characters through transporters, but despite the marketing campaign, the "beaming" app was ahead of its time.

Bling Nation works by adhering quarter-sized BlingTag microchip stickers to mobile phones that enable debit transactions from the owners' PayPal accounts. Each time a purchase is made using a BlingTag, the consumer receives a transaction confirmation and account balance by text message. The BlingTag uses PayPal's open APIs and does not store any personal information.

In a blog post, PayPal's Vice President of Platform, Mobile and New Ventures Osama Bedier said, "We're making good on our commitment towards a cashless society - starting with our own campus - and are one step closer to making that dream a reality."

Beam me up, Scotty.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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